I’m going to do a philosophical post of my own making for today. I will get back to studying others next week.
With this post, I am certainly exercising the creative side. I will try to analyze the mind of a first-century citizen and his writings with my 21st-century views. Up front, I will admit that much of what I speculate is just that, speculation. I will also admit that I will likely be scorned and called a heretic by some for these words. But, I am very comfortable with my relations with Jesus, so those accusations don’t scare me as much as they might have at an earlier point in my life.
EVERYTHING in the 21st century would likely be deemed a miracle by those who lived in Jesus’ time. Let’s face it the first-century mind was just not attuned to the unexpected. Things stayed pretty much the same for hundreds of years at a time. If we are to totally believe the biblical accounts there were many miracles performed in those days. Why did they suddenly stop? Why does God not do that anymore?
They say that in order to be spiritual you must have faith. Faith is acceptance of some things that you can’t explain or don’t have definite proof of. But to me, that does not mean that we must accept everything that the first-century citizen believed to be supernatural was really that. I have faith that Jesus was from the creator of the universe and that he walked this earth. I don’t necessarily believe that everything reported in the gospel accounts was 100% factual. I’m sure some of it was just an old man’s faulty memories. Psychologists today have shown that as you age, you tend to recreate your thoughts to fit your narrative. I’m sure the same happened twenty-one centuries ago and the centuries after when the biblical text was written.
Death to God probably means something completely different than it does to us. For that reason even though Jesus died on the cross does not mean that he ceased to exist on God’s plane. I am sure that there are millions today who would be considered dead by first-century citizens that are still walking this earth. In the first century, if you had a heart attack, it most often meant certain death. Today, the vast majority of heart attack victims survive. I am one of them.
While I believe that parts of the Bible are meant for our times, I am just as convinced that much of the events described were not. While some of the Bible was probably inspired by God, it inspired first-century intellect and that is a far cry from even the most ignorant of us today.
2 thoughts on “Miracles And The First Century Mind….”
I just had a discussion a few days ago about how the author of Revelations could have been describing the sound of helicopters when writing in 9:9: “the sound of their wings was like the sound of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.” Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but what is true is that it is hard to describe something we’ve never seen before or don’t fully understand. Helicopters would definitely be a miracle, or maybe awe- and terror- inspiring, to a first century person, even though they are something we kind of take for granted, now. I agree with you, I don’t think that this detracts from the Gospel, because Jesus himself says in John 14:12: “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” Clearly a lot of human progress isn’t a God-inspired miracle, but perhaps some if it is, too.
Hi Annie, and thanks for the thoughts. Yeah, perhaps some of it is…. I kind of like that.
Doing what Jesus says is what it is all about isn’t it. Thanks for the verse.